Open boats allow us to experience the sights, sounds and smells of being on the water up close and personal. The wind in your face. Salt air in your lungs. Water lapping the hull sides. Gulls chasing bait around the bay. Isn’t this what boating is all about?
It gets even better when you enjoy these simple pleasures with friends and family, and open boats encourage socialization with their free-flowing layouts from bow to stern.
This Pacific Northwest workboat conversion is enduring and endearing
It’s nearly a law of nature: A boat voyeur’s stroll through the Boat Haven in Port Townsend, Washington, stops on B-Dock. That’s where Petrel is tied up, and that’s where anyone, even folks who don’t know much about boats, pause to stare. She’s a converted salmon troller of modest size at 42 feet overall — a vessel so cute, so right, so honest, she’s like that perfect little boat a kindergartner might draw from imagination.
Sixteen feet of speed and sex appeal. The Donzi Ski Sporter still looks good 50 years after her introduction. And what a sensation the “Sweet 16,” as she was affectionately known, created back in 1964 when raceboat driver and designer Don Aronow showed the boat off to a public eagerly playing in Sunfish, Boston Whalers and other small boats.
A day aboard a working tug in Baltimore
My valued friendship with one of the port of Baltimore’s senior tug captains enabled this small-craft sailor to experience the sights and sounds of the commercial harbor from the “other man’s” vantage point. The view from the wheelhouse led me to write “Gentlemen of the Harbor: Stories of Chesapeake Bay Tugboats and Crews,” from which the following is excerpted.
Sailors who gathered in the Penobscot Bay village of Castine, Maine, this past summer for a weekend of classic yacht racing had a rare opportunity to learn about the history, development and construction of the Maine lobster boat from some of the foremost builders of these vessels, which — with the men and women who fish on them — are the foundation of the state’s $380 million lobster industry.
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